Visitor’s Guide to the Empire State Building

Welcome to the iconic Empire State Building, a quintessential landmark of New York City, New York, USA. Towering over the heart of Manhattan, this architectural marvel is not just a building; it’s a symbol of ambition, resilience, and innovation. Since its completion in 1931, the Empire State Building has captured the imagination of millions around the world and remains one of the most visited attractions in NYC.

History and Significance

The Empire State Building was designed by Shreve & Lamb and stands at an impressive height of 1,454 feet including its antenna. It was the tallest building in the world until the completion of the North Tower of the World Trade Center in 1970. Despite losing its title, it has remained an enduring symbol of New York City’s skyline. The building was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986 due to its architectural significance.

What makes visiting the Empire State Building at night unique?

Visiting the Empire State Building at night offers a unique experience due to its spectacular city lights view. The observation decks provide unparalleled vistas of New York City illuminated against the night sky - from twinkling skyscrapers to stretching bridges - creating a magical atmosphere that cannot be experienced during daylight hours.

Visiting Experience

Visitors to the Empire State Building are treated to an experience like no other. The journey begins in the beautifully restored Art Deco lobby before ascending to the observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors. From these vantage points, you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of New York City and beyond. On clear days, visibility can extend up to 80 miles, offering sights of neighboring states such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

Exhibits and Attractions

The Empire State Building also offers a series of exhibits that enhance visitors’ understanding and appreciation of this historic structure. These include:

  • The newly reimagined Observatory Experience which takes guests on an immersive journey from construction to present day.
  • A dedicated exhibit showcasing famous movie moments that featured the Empire State Building.
  • An interactive King Kong exhibit where visitors can step into scenes from the iconic film.

Special Events

The Empire State Building is known for its dazzling light shows which celebrate various occasions throughout the year. Its tower lights have honored holidays, commemorated events, and recognized organizations making a difference around the globe. Additionally, it hosts annual events such as Valentine’s Day weddings and Independence Day fireworks viewing parties.

Tips for Visitors

To make your visit as enjoyable as possible:

  • Purchase tickets online in advance to avoid long lines.
  • Visit early morning or late evening for fewer crowds.
  • Check out dining options on-site or nearby for a meal with a view.


  • Towering presence in NYC’s skyline since 1931
  • National Historic Landmark designation
  • Panoramic views from observation decks on 86th & 102nd floors
  • Immersive exhibits including Observatory Experience & King Kong exhibit
  • Dazzling light shows celebrating various occasions
  • Tips: Purchase tickets online & visit during off-peak hours for best experience